Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Starting New Build in Ochelata, OK, USA

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Starting New Build in Ochelata, OK, USA

    I am currently building a passive solar greenhouse in Ochelata, OK and have been researching the components for the inside, when I've come across information on iAVS. Looking forward to learning more about iAVS and sharing information as I build out the greenhouse.

  • #2
    Hi Kerber,
    Congrats on an opportunity to build a greenhouse! Will you be building from your own design?

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Kerber and welcome,

      Looking forward to watching your build.

      Cheers.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Gary, Timetogrow & bigdaddy!
        Thanks for the welcome.

        Our motivation is to grow our own food. Depending on our success, we may expand for farmer markets.

        Yes, I will be building from my own design (with the good advise of those who've been doing this for a while, like contributers of this forum). I'm in the research phase now for the design. I've only recently heard of iAVS as I've been researching 'aquaponics with clay ball media' for the past few months. The switch in my thinking to iAVS necessitates a deep dive immediately, as I expect to build out the inside as soon as possible, with key decisions made in the next weeks.

        The passive solar greenhouse is fairly small (14'x28' still under construction). Temperatures will be moderated by a GHAT - 300'. The floor is dirt with gravel isles.

        Here are the current design ideas: There are 3 productive areas and 2 isles the length of the greenhouse. On the southern wall there will be an elevated sand bed with in-ground sump underneath (3'x28'). I will be in search of the proper sand; will start with local sources. Grow towers on each end and down the center. The north wall plan is for fish tanks, compost tea brewer, swirl filter, micro green/supplies rack and stacked mushroom buckets.

        I'm certainly open to suggestions and appreciate advice. I will be posting pictures of the greenhouse and interior design, when it progresses further.

        Comment


        • #5
          Below find additional description of potential construction and interior layout. Your input is appreciated.

          Sump Construction: The walls of the greenhouse are poured concrete (below ground level and above ground 4'). Because the greenhouse is small, my current idea is to build an in-ground, 12" deep, sump the length of the greenhouse by using the east, south and west walls for 3 sides and using 4" concrete block to form the 4th side of the sump pit. The bottom is earth. Will insulate with rigid board (not selected yet) and will use the pond liner ("fish-safe" EPDM in 45 mil thickness) which Mark has recommended (changed away from Dura-Skrim).

          Sand Bed Construction: The sand bed will be constructed to sit above the in-ground sump. The current idea is to weld a metal framework which will rest on the 4" block wall of the sump and be attached to the 3 exterior walls of the greenhouse. Will insulate with rigid board and use the pond liner (same as used in the sump). The plan is to incorporate a slope into this bed, use a pvc manifold to distribute the water over the sand width at the input end, two furrows, a central socked pipe (following recommendations http://iavs.info/how-to/sand-bio-fil...ration-part-1/).

          Fish Tanks: The current plan is to use an IBC container (approx 255 gallon) with an insulation blanket as the main above ground fish tank, to be located on the north wall of the greenhouse. A second fish tank (for smaller fish) is an insulated soda cooler on wheels (barrel is 30" wide x 60" long, 135 gallons, with ability to divide into 3 sections with hdpe boards into side slots). My thoughts on this 2nd tank is to keep it as a stand alone (not piped). Considering Tilapia or Catfish in the primary tank. Have heard about freshwater Red Lobster and or prawns, which may be good for one or two of the sections of the secondary tank. Our interest in the fish and lobster is for food (not just poo advantages).

          Grow Towers: This may be a departure from the iAVs topic, but I'll include it here as it will be part of the greenhouse water ecosystem. With the limited footprint of the greenhouse grow towers should help maximize use of vertical space. These are planned for the: tall towers on west end of the greenhouse for strawberries and herbs; tall towers on east end of greenhouse for greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc); low to ground, short length towers at the center isle for vining plants (using lean & lower method via metal framing support). Reference GroPockets with irrigation assembly.

          Other: Compost Tea Brewer and Swirl Filter will sit beside the fish tanks on the north wall. Planning redundancy and ability to supplement as needed.

          Comment


          • #6
            (continued description of potential construction and interior layout,etc.)

            Water for System: Our original thought was to source water from a local pond. However, someone warned that may not be the best idea. From what I've read rainwater is the best. Advice is appreciated.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kerber View Post
              Fish Tanks: The current plan is to use an IBC container (approx 255 gallon) with an insulation blanket as the main above ground fish tank, to be located on the north wall of the greenhouse. A second fish tank (for smaller fish) is an insulated soda cooler on wheels (barrel is 30" wide x 60" long, 135 gallons, with ability to divide into 3 sections with hdpe boards into side slots). My thoughts on this 2nd tank is to keep it as a stand alone (not piped). Considering Tilapia or Catfish in the primary tank. Have heard about freshwater Red Lobster and or prawns, which may be good for one or two of the sections of the secondary tank. Our interest in the fish and lobster is for food (not just poo advantages).

              Grow Towers: This may be a departure from the iAVs topic, but I'll include it here as it will be part of the greenhouse water ecosystem. With the limited footprint of the greenhouse grow towers should help maximize use of vertical space. These are planned for the: tall towers on west end of the greenhouse for strawberries and herbs; tall towers on east end of greenhouse for greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc); low to ground, short length towers at the center isle for vining plants (using lean & lower method via metal framing support). Reference GroPockets with irrigation assembly.

              Other: Compost Tea Brewer and Swirl Filter will sit beside the fish tanks on the north wall. Planning redundancy and ability to supplement as needed.
              IBC's are not my preferred fish tank but I acknowledge that people can only work with what they have. Not all grow towers are equal so do your homework there. There should be no need to supplement your iAVs system...and sand is the best filter...so you won't require a swirl filter. Try pumping water for you grow towers straight out of the sump...using a separate pump.

              Rainwater is certainly your best water option. it's free....it contains no disinfectants that need to be removed (like chlorine or chloramine) and it's pH will be around the required mark of 6.4 to 6.8.

              Thank you for the very detailed description of your proposed system. In which state do you live? That information may be useful in helping you to identify suitable sand.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Gary,
                You wrote 'IBCs are not my preferred fish tank...'. What would you recommend? The main reason I was considering an IBC was for the foot print of 4'x4' for 255 gallons. Since my greenhouse is only 14'x28' I'm concerned about floorspace. I'm definately open to advise!

                We live in the USA, state of Oklahoma (30 miles north of Tulsa, OK).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Kerber,

                  Have a look at the thread labelled "The curse of the IBC IMO"

                  There is some good discussion on them there.

                  Cheers.

                  Comment


                  • kerber
                    kerber commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hi bigdaddy,
                    Thanks for pointing me to the thread '..curse...IBC...' I'm in search of a fish tank now. I've located a cone bottom cylinder tank on a stand. http://www.plastic-mart.com/product/...stand-tc4257ap

                    It's a bit pricy, but considering it. I must decide quickly as the walls of the greenhouse are scheduled to go up this week and these tanks will not fit through the doorway! Yikes.

                • #10
                  To be candid, I'd pass on it. At over US$1000, it's almost certainly more expensive than a purpose-built aquaculture tank of the same capacity. It's a chemical container tank and it's overkill for your purposes. Also, the height of it is going to be a pain to work with.

                  While a tank with a curved or sloping bottom is best, there are far less expensive ways to do it.

                  I can show you how to concentrate the wastes in the centre of a round, flat-bottomed tank...if there's a significant cost benefit to be had from going that way.

                  Try Googling "aquaculture tanks" along with you home state and you might find that someone is making them within reach of you. If you're going to part with anything like $1000, you should be able to get the real thing.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    You said you can dig a sump; can you dig a hole big enough for the fish tank? You could probably get a section of 4ft diameter culvert to sink into the ground vertically, slope the bottom dirt, and then drop in a liner. A regular flat liner might be a pain, but a tank-shaped custom liner could drop right in. Instead of a culvert, you could also look at some of the Youtube videos for "DIY Cedar Hot Tub" for a simple process to build a round tank from wood. Again, I would recommend a liner and a sloped bottom to a submersible pump. The wooden tank with liner could even be constructed after the walls go up.

                    Comment


                    • kerber
                      kerber commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I may be able to dig a hole for the fish tank on the north side of the building 3' deep x 3' wide x 5' long gives approximately 400 gallons. It would limit the flexibiity inside the greenhouse. Will consider your suggestion if can find a 4' culvert. Will also look at the 'cedar hot tub' idea. Thanks!

                  • #12
                    Hi All, Well we are finally making some progress. Our turnkey passive solar greenhouse build did not turn out to be 'turnkey'. The fellow from Colorado brought a truckload of metal framing and polycarbonate, poured 2 of the four two foot walls and left us - without completing the building. A true scam artist. What should have been completed the first week in June 2017 was not completed until November 2017. Ugh! So, on a better note, we now have a greenhouse building with electricty and a GHAT system for heating and cooling. There is a 10' in ground sump which runs the width of the greenhouse. The sump was made using 4"x16" concrete block and 45 mil EDPM pond liner. We went with two, ten foot long poly bunk feeders for our iAVs sand beds (Behlen brand purchased via NRS in Decatur, TX; they matched lowest price on the internet and I saved shipping by picking them up). We are at the point of installing the GroPocket vertical towers and plumbing all water lines. The decision has been made to use the IBC 275 gallon for the fish tank for now. We will also use a radial swirl and mineralization tank. We believe we have found our sand and expect to pick it up this coming week. I'll share the test results and picture of test in a separate post.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Kerber Sand Tests

                      One of the important steps for iaVs is the select the appropriate sand. Reference link for testing sand is provided. http://iavs.info/how-to/the-5-gallon-bucket-tests/ Below are the results of our sand testing.

                      We live north of Tulsa, OK. The Arkansas river flows through Tulsa and several sand companies are located south of Tulsa. All sand in the area comes from these quarries. Two sand samples were collected: Sample-1 did not pass the Vinegar Test, so no futher testing was conducted. Sample-2 results are below.

                      1. Vinegar Test - The sand was inert (no carbonates).
                      2. Turbidity - See pic-1.
                      3. Diffenential Settling - See pic-2.
                      4. Pore Space Volume - Used 4 gallons of sand (16 cups) as indcated in directions. The original distance of sand to the top of the bucket was 2" (see pic-3). It took 3/4 gallon (14 cups) of water to saturate the sand bringing the water to the top of the sand. 14/16 = 87.5%; 12.5% I then waited 5 minutes and was able to remove 4 cups of water off the top of the sand. Recalculating gives 10 cups of water to 16 cups of sand. 10/16 = 62.5%; 37.5%

                      Note: I'm a bit unsure about this test, but I think the Pore Space Volume test must be 'in the range' between 25% and 30% (based on the 12.5% and 37.5% results above). Your input / thoughts are welcome on this one.

                      Regarding a drop in the volume of sand in the bucket after soakings: after soak #1, the sand level dropped 1" (see pic-4); after soak #2, the sand level dropped another 1" (see pic-5).

                      5. Hydraulic Conductivity - Results are shown in pic-6.
                      6. Water Retention - no results specific to this as it was part of Pore Space Volume test.
                      7. pH - regular tap water tested 6.2, tap water with sand 6.2, tap water with sand stirred up 6.2
                      8. Full Chemical Analysis of Water - Have not done this yet; will post results when available

                      As I interpret these results, this sand should work for iaVs. BUT, if you see any red flags with the results, please advise asap. (Our current plan is to purchase the Sample-2 sand this coming week or the following week.)

                      Thanks all!
                      Kerber
                      Last edited by kerber; 01-21-2018, 02:03 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Hi Kerber,
                        How long did you soak the sand in #7 test...?
                        if you get no chg in pH after 30 minutes, I would say this sand is inert and is pretty well not gonna buffer your pH. My first batch of sand (now distributed in low spots in my yard) would raise the pH nearly a full point in 40 minutes....

                        like pure calicium....learned my lesson the hard way..!

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by kerber View Post
                          Hi All, Well we are finally making some progress. Our turnkey passive solar greenhouse build did not turn out to be 'turnkey'. The fellow from Colorado brought a truckload of metal framing and polycarbonate, poured 2 of the four two foot walls and left us - without completing the building. A true scam artist. What should have been completed the first week in June 2017 was not completed until November 2017. Ugh! So, on a better note, we now have a greenhouse building with electricty and a GHAT system for heating and cooling. There is a 10' in ground sump which runs the width of the greenhouse. The sump was made using 4"x16" concrete block and 45 mil EDPM pond liner. We went with two, ten foot long poly bunk feeders for our iAVs sand beds (Behlen brand purchased via NRS in Decatur, TX; they matched lowest price on the internet and I saved shipping by picking them up). We are at the point of installing the GroPocket vertical towers and plumbing all water lines. The decision has been made to use the IBC 275 gallon for the fish tank for now. We will also use a radial swirl and mineralization tank. We believe we have found our sand and expect to pick it up this coming week. I'll share the test results and picture of test in a separate post.
                          You have certainly made progress...and the quality of your build is apparent...and you're using my favourite kind of greenhouse...a sun-facing Chinese design. Congratulations!

                          How wide and deep are your "poly bunk feeders"...and what are the dimensions of your sump tank?

                          IBC's are not my favourite fish tank (by any stretch of the imagination) but I'll do what I can to help you make it work.

                          We have had little to do with using add-on systems like vertical towers or raft tanks...but, since you've elected to use them, I would strongly recommend that you simply place a separate pump in the sump tank just to supply them. The irrigation of the iAVs beds is intermittent while the vertical beds will be constant flow.

                          There is no need for for a radial flow separator or a mineralisation tank...indeed the IAVs needs the solids from the fish to create the detritus layer. Since you're sourcing the water for your vertical towers from the sump tank, the water....which will have been through the sand beds before entering the sump tank...you'll have far cleaner water than you could ever expect from an RFS.

                          There is an element of the unknown about the nutrient availability for the vertical towers. Since most of the plants that are grown in such systems are light feeders, you may get away with your proposed arrangement. In any case, we can make adjustments to those once the system is up and running.

                          Just to clarify, your sand beds drain into the sump...which is presumably below the bottom of the sand beds. Right?

                          Please feel free to ask questions. It's easier to sort out the design issues now - than once the build is finished.

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X